Treatment variations on the Epley maneuver for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Helen S Cohen, Kay T Kimball
American Journal of Otolaryngology 2004, 25 (1): 33-7

PURPOSE: To determine if using more head rotation during the Epley maneuver or specific posttreatment instructions for sleeping position would affect treatment effectiveness, compared with the usual maneuver without extra instructions.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with unilateral benign paroxysmal positional vertigo of the posterior semicircular canal were randomized to a standard Epley maneuver group, a group that received an additional 45 degrees head rotation during the maneuver (Augmented Epley), and a group that received instructions about sleeping position after treatment.

RESULTS: Posttests from 1 week to 6 months showed no differences in vertigo intensity or frequency or responses to the Dix-Hallpike maneuver. All groups showed significant decreases in vertigo and Dix-Hallpike responses. Some subjects in each group had abnormal pretreatment scores on computerized dynamic posturography. Those subjects in the Augmented Epley group who had abnormal pretreatment posturography scores had significantly better posttreatment scores than those subjects in the Home Instruction group who had abnormal pretreatment scores. All subjects with abnormal responses, however, showed improvement.

CONCLUSIONS: Although clinicians continue to give patients home instructions and to use additional head rotation during the maneuver, these variations are not essential for achieving improvement in symptoms.

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